Monday, November 10, 2008


Sun Zi said : 

Genrally when an army of one hundred thousand is dispatched to a distant war, the expense borne by the people as well as the disbursements made by the treasury will amount to total of at least one thousand liang (one liang equal. 31.25 grams) of gold.

There will be disturbances both at home and aboard; seven hundred thousand households will be unable to continue their farm work because they will be involved with convoys and exhausted from performing transportation services.

Hostile armies may be at odds with each other for many years in order to win victory in a decisive battle .

Therefore , if one is reluctant to employ the services of spies simply because of the expenditure of rank and money as a result fail to get information about the enemy, and the battle lost, then he is completely devoid of humanity.

Such a man is not a good commander, nor a capable assistant to the sovereign, nor a master of victory.

  Use Spy

A great sovereign and a wise commander is able to defeat the enemy and record achievements surpassing those of ordinary men because he is able to obtain enough information about the enemy in advance.

  • One should not seek information about the enemy from spirits or gods through the practice of sacrificial offerings and divination.
  • Nor should one assume information by farfetched comparisons with past experience, and verify its accuracy by calculations of constellation movements

Rather information come from people, here referring to spy who has a clear understanding of the enemy's situation.  

  Five Types Of Spies

There are five kinds of spies :
  1. Native spies;
  2. Internal spies;
  3. Converted spies;
  4. Expendable spies;
  5. Surviving spies;

When these five kinds of spies are working together at the same time and their operations are clandestine, it is called "The divine manipulation of the threads", and it constitutes the sovereign greatest treasure.

Native spies are civilians from the enemy country whom one employs as spies.

Internal spies refer to enemy's officials who are employed as our agents.

Converted spies are those who are originally enemy's spies and who had later turned and are paid to work for our side.

Expendable spies are one own spies who are deliberately given false information, and who then convey the information to the enemy. These spies usually face death after capture, once the enemy discovered that they had been deceived.

Surviving spies are spies sent to enemy country who return with information .

  Commander And Spies

Of those who are close to the commander, no one is more intimate than the secret agents; of all the rewards, none should be more liberal than those given to the spies.

Of all military and strategic matter, none are more confidential than those relating to spy operations.

The commander who does not have extraordinary intelligence cannot use spies; neither can a commander who is not humane and generous use them.

A commander who is not delicate and subtle enough cannot ascertain the truth of falseness of the spy's information. A subtle matter indeed!

There is no place that espionage cannot be used. If plans relating to any spy operation are prematurely divulged, the spy and all he spoke to should be put to death !!

  Using Of Spies

Generally, whether it is enemy armies that one wishes to strike, cities one wishes to attack or enemy commander one wishes to assassinate, it is always necessary to first send out spy to gather detailed information about the identities of the garrison commanders, the staff officers. the attendants, the gate keepers, and the bodyguard of those in command.

It is also necessary to identify the enemies spies in one's midst so that we can bribe them, persuade them and release them to gather inflammations.

Thus one makes converted spies serve one's own sides.

  Obtain Infromations

After obtaining intelligence about the enemy from the converted spies, one will be able to recruit and employ native and internal spies.

Intelligence report from converted spies can will also enable one to manufacture false information for expendable spies to convey it to the enemy, and make it possible for surviving spies to return with information according to schedule.

The sovereign must have a full understanding of how to make use of information provided by these five kinds of spies , especially that of converted spies. Therefore , it is mandatory that the converted spies be given excellent pay and condition.

  Rise Of Yin Dynasty

In ancient times, the rise of Yin Dynasty (from about the 16th century BC to the 11th century BC) was due to the placing of Yi Zhi, a Xia Dynasty (the first unified dynasty in China, from the 21st century BC to 16th century BC) officials in an important position; the rise of the Zhou Dynasty (after the Shang Dynasty from 11th century BC to 221 BC) , was likewise due to the placing of Lu Ya, a Yin Dynasty official, in an important position.

It is only the great sovereign and wise commander who are capable to use the most intelligent people as spies, and are thus able to achieve great success. To make use of spies is the crux of war, because the action of the whole army depend on the intelligence furnished by spies.

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